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IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Release No: 627-95
November 29, 1995

SUPER HORNET CONDUCTS FIRST FLIGHT ON TIME

The Navy's newest strike fighter, the F/A-18E Super Hornet flew for the first time today in St. Louis, Missouri. The first flight was scheduled for December 1995.

The Secretary of the Navy, John H. Dalton said, "This marks a significant milestone in the Super Hornet program and carrier aviation. I am extremely proud of the dedicated men and women who continue to keep this program on schedule and on budget."

Admiral Mike Boorda, Chief of Naval Operations said, "The F/A-18E/F Super Hornet continues to be a great performer. It's underweight, flying ahead of schedule and working within our budget plan. This plane is a big part of the future of Naval aviation, and I'm pleased to note how well the program is progressing. It's destined to be a Fleet Superstar!"

This year, F/A-18C Hornet strike fighters flying off the Aircraft carriers George Washington, Theodore Roosevelt and America have participated in ongoing NATO operations over Bosnia-Herzegovina. Presently, Hornet strike fighters are currently flying off the deployed aircraft carriers USS America in the Arabian Gulf, and the USS Nimitz in the Pacific Ocean.

Today's first flight of the Super Hornet took place 12 years since the first F/A-18 entered operational service in the Navy. The combat-proven Hornet has built a reputation for being the safest, most versatile, reliable and maintainable aircraft in the history of the U.S. Naval Aviation. The Super Hornet was designed specifically to extend the Hornet' s long-term viability of U.S. aircraft carrier operations. The aircraft is 25 percent larger and offers longer range, greater endurance, increased weapons and fuel-carrying ability, improved survivability, and substantial capacity for future growth.